THE OPERATION OF SATAN
In verse 9 Paul says, “The coming of whom is according to the operation of Satan, with all power and signs and wonders of a lie.” This verse reveals that the coming of Antichrist is according to the operation of Satan. The reason Antichrist will be so lawless is that he will be under Satan’s operation. Due to the motivation of Satan, he will become extremely powerful. The operation of Satan is with power and signs and wonders of a lie. The entire operation of Satan to deceive people (vv. 9-10) is in its totality a lie, just as he is a liar and the father of it (John 8:44).
This operation of Satan is seen in Revelation 13. At that time, people will be deceived by lying signs and wonders. One of these signs will be that an idol, the lifeless image of Antichrist, will be able to speak.
NOT RECEIVING THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH
Verse 10 continues, “And with all deceit of unrighteousness among those who are perishing, because they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved.” A large number of people will follow Antichrist. They will accept his deceit because they do not receive the love of the truth in order to be saved.
In verse 11 Paul goes on to say, “And because of this, God sends to them an operation of error that they might believe the lie.” Because the perishing ones did not receive the love of the truth, which God intended to give them that they might be saved, God sends to them an operation of error, an active power of misleading, that they might believe the lie.
In verse 12 Paul concludes, “That all might be judged who have not believed the truth, but have had pleasure in unrighteousness.” The believers have the pleasure of goodness (1:11); the perishing sinners who reject the truth of God have pleasure in unrighteousness. To sin is a delight to them (Rom. 1:32).
We all need to be clear regarding the Lord’s coming and not be shaken or alarmed by strange teachings concerning it. Today some teach that Christians will not pass through the tribulation, but will be raptured before the tribulation. This candy-coated teaching is not accurate. Do not listen to such teachings concerning the Lord’s coming and our being gathered unto Him. The word in 2:1-12 is brief, but it is very sound and clear. I would encourage you to read the Life-studies on Matthew and Revelation for more details.
We should not simply know about the Lord’s coming. We need to live a life to match the Lord’s requirements so that we may be counted worthy to be in the manchild, or to be among the one hundred forty-four thousand, or to be the living ones who are raptured according to Matthew 24. Those believers who are watchful and ready will be raptured before the tribulation. However, those who are not watchful and ready will pass through the tribulation.
(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Chapter 26, by Witness Lee)